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Firewall concerns for outbound EDP connections to Device Cloud or Remote Manager

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Article Number000001323
Problem Resolution

Prerequisites:

This article assumes you've reviewed the available Configuration/Troubleshooting guidance for your particular Digi product, and have ensured your Gateway or device is otherwise configured properly for a Device Cloud or Remote Manager connection.

Firewall concerns:
 

Firewalls (and the IT security people that maintain them) are generally concerned with protecting a location's Local Area Network from unauthorized use - both from traffic coming at the network from the outside world, and traffic from within the local area network going outward.  A Remote Management-capable Digi product falls into the latter category, because the Digi device creates an outbound TCP socket connection to the Device Cloud or Remote Manager server.  This  EDP (easy device protocol) socket connection is a tunnel through which data from your Gateway gets pushed to the Device Cloud, so that data can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

The following article describes:

  • The IP socket connections used when a Digi RF Gateway, TransPort Router, or edp-capable device (using Digi Cloud Connector) makes a Remote Management connection to Device Cloud or Remote Manager
  • How to determine the IP address in use for a given Device Cloud or Remote Manager DNS name

Locations where it is likely that Firewall Rules will be needed:

Those who are trying to connect to Device Cloud or Remote Manager from a location which has strict outbound firewall rules will especially need the guidance found within this article.  Some likely examples for this type of network security environment include:  Government offices/buildings and institutions, Schools, Universities, and some Businesses (especially ones that do government contract work). 

 

What network port(s) does a Gateway or Connect-capable device use to connect to Device Cloud?

By default, the TCP and/or UDP port(s) your Device Cloud-capable Gateway or device uses to connect with Device Cloud will depend in part on the age/default configuration of your Gateway, the device's configuration, as well as the particular model.

TCP Port 3197:  The outbound EDP/non-SSL (non-secure) socket connection from NDS-based products like the ConnectPort X2 / X4 / X5 / X8 Gateways, and ERT/Ethernet Gateway (especially if the product has older firmware), which may still be configured to create an un-encrypted Device Cloud socket connection.

Note:  If possible, the firmware of older products should be updated so that the Device Cloud configuration settings can changed to use of SSL socket connections into the Device Cloud instead (see next entry below).

TCP Port 3199:   The outbound EDP/SSL (secure) socket connection from NDS-based products like the ConnectPort X2 / X4 / X5 / X8 Gateways, and ERT/Ethernet Gateway with newer firmware which are configured to create a secure SSL socket connection into Device Cloud.  Required on ALL Linux-based Gateways, examples:  XBee Gateway ZB and ConnectPort X2e for Smart Energy.  Can also be required if the Device Cloud account is configured to accept SSL connections only (new Device Cloud option as of version 2.16)

UDP Port 53:  Outbound DNS (Domain Name Service) name recognition service, i.e. translates the my.devicecloud.com name for Device Cloud connectivity.

Note:  DNS service is not a requirement.  If access to DNS service is not allowed or possible from your network, the device's remote connectivity address would need to use the IP address of my.devicecloud.com (52.73.23.137), rather than the DNS name itself (see below under What IP address is needed for outbound Firewall rule(s)? for more details).


UDP Port 123:  The outbound socket connection to an NTP (time) server is required for ALL Linux-based Gateways such as the XBee Gateway and ConnectPort X2e, as well as  gateways and devices configured for NTP time management.


 

Important Note for all XBee and ConnectPort X2e Gateways (and Gateways configured for NTP Time Management)

The XBee Gateway and ConnectPort X2e are Linux-based gateways which require outbound access to UDP port 123 (NTP), in order to generate the secure (SSL) TCP socket connection into Device Cloud.  Any Gateways which are configured for NTP time management will have this requirement as well, since the Gateway connects to an NTP server in order to to keep an accurate date/time.

If your XBee (or CP-X2e) Gateway is added to your Device Cloud account but never shows up in a Connected state, check to ensure that outbound NTP access is available for the Gateway through your local network Firewall.  ConnectPort X2 and X4 gateways would still connect to Device Cloud (assuming TCP port 3199 isn't blocked), but the Gateway might show an epoch 1970-based date/time if no other Time Sources are configured. 
 

What IP address is needed for outbound Firewall rule(s)?

The best way to determine that is to do an nslookup of the DNS name for the Remote Management server you want your device(s) to connect to.  As of the date of this article (6/16/2015), here is how this looked from my Windows 7 commandline (Start - Run - CMD) prompt when doing nslookup of our various Remote Management and NTP ring servers:
 

Digi Device Cloud and Remote Manager device connectivity address:

C:\>nslookup my.devicecloud.com

Name:    my.devicecloud.com
Address:  52.73.23.137
 

Past Device Cloud connectivity addresses which may still be in use on devices (all device configurations should be updated to use the my.devicecloud.com address, then re-connected to the server at the new address):

devicecloud.digi.com
login.etherios.com
my.idigi.com
app.idigi.com

devicecloud-uk.digi.com
login.etherios.co.uk
my.idigi.co.uk


Digi Primary NTP Time Server Ring addresses:

C:\>nslookup time.devicecloud.com

Name:     time.devicecloud.com
Addresses:  52.25.29.129, 52.2.40.158
 

Secondary/Tertiary NTP Time Server addresses for pool usage:

C:\>nslookup 0.time.devicecloud.com

Name:     0.time.devicecloud.com
Addresses:  52.2.40.158

C:\>nslookup 1.time.devicecloud.com

Name:     1.time.devicecloud.com
Addresses:  52.25.29.129
 

Deprecated NTP/Time server addresses which may still be in use on devices (all devices should be updated to use time.devicecloud.com within their configuration):

time.digi.com
time.etherios.com

time.etherios.co.uk
0.idigi.pool.ntp.org
1.idigi.pool.ntp.org
2.idigi.pool.ntp.org

 

Making the Firewall Rules:

If the IP address of the DNS name ever changes (before this article is updated to reflect it), a Windows CLI command can be used to determine the IP address of our server:
 
nslookup <DNS name of server>

The Name and Address fields will be the DNS name and IP address for the Remote Management or Time server listed.  Your firewall rule will need to allow access for the appropriate network port used based on your Gateway's Device Management configuration, as well as UDP port 123 if NTP Time Management is in use.
 

Important Note regarding deprecated DNS names:

If your device is configured to use an idigi.* or etherios.* DNS name to connect to Device Cloud or Remote Manager, it should be re-configured to use my.devicecloud.com at your earliest convenience. You will need to create firewall rules for all IP addresses/ports used, for all Remote Management and Time DNS server names used with your device.

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